Seeing the look on people’s faces when they find out the Caesar salad was invented in Tijuana never gets old. That’s right, the salad that’s now on every hotel restaurant menu across the globe—the Michael Jackson’s Thriller of lettuce—was created at Caesar’s Restaurant in Tijuana, where it still is being prepared table-side to this day. The Caesar salad and the fried fish taco are two of the most iconic dishes from Baja California, and the new downtown taqueria, Chica’s Tacos is doubling down on the flavors of the other Cali in one great taco.
The beer-battered fish is crispy and flavorful, and instead of the traditional toppings like cabbage, cream or mayo, pico de gallo, lime juice, and salsa, a Caesar salad dresses the fish for a winning combination of legendary Baja flavor. All the creaminess and acid you need comes in the salad and you get some pleasant crunch from the croutons and a light smoky heat from a salsa de chile morita.
Chica’s uses corn tortillas recien hecha (recently made, or from a tortilleria) from La Princesita located in nearby Boyle Heights.
There are a variety of delicious salsas to choose from, but if you want the Chica’s experience, stick with the smoky heat from the house-made chile morita. But it’s also not a bad idea to heat things up with the habanero, or add some texture and tang from the salsa de molcajete (made in a portar and pestle).
Enjoy your tacos on the sidewalk, at the old school counter, or make it a date and dine under festooned white lights on the picnic benches at this stylish aqua and red-orange accented shack.
$5 a taco
Chica’s Tacos, 728 S Olive St., Downtown, (213) 896-0373, chicastacos.com